This Being Done
Behind the trees across the street the sun
Takes down its last pale disc. This being done,
No soft pale light is left for anyone.
There is a further comedown in the night.
Outside, unheard, asphalt is turning white:
White swarms of butterflies in the streetlight.
The morning comes, and through the spread of snow
In candy-coloured coats the children go.
Listen awhile and you can hear them grow.
At the tail end of my last northern hemisphere disease, the snow fell, intense and large-flaked, for about an hour. J went out under the influence of snow-love and the last of my quince nalewka (more of that in another post) and came back with a lover’s collection of photos, a shot at every step whenever the bright brief sun emerged. We don’t expect another fall like this before we leave, and I don’t think I’ll be visiting in winter again.
When I looked through the photos, I saw them as he intended: a pilgrimage through places that have become our familiar landscape. The clay-pit lake; the fountain pond; the climbing tree and the stone dome; the paving stones we walk along on the way to preschool; the sledding slopes; the intersecting paths in Park Morskie Oko; the playgrounds where we watched agility increase; the drain J filled with chalked sharks and crocodiles and where we defended buns against marauding dogs.
Dark against the white were the benches where we dispensed fizzy water and Oreos and mambas, and where on rare occasions one or another of the twinlets climbed on my shoulders for a short carry. There’s the patch of crabapple, and the giant horse chestnut and the sycamore whose helicopters I monitored, still bare but budding as they were when we arrived a year ago.
Tears aren’t far away as I think back over all the joys of this annus mirabilis and face its imminent end. Listen a year and I have indeed heard them grow.